Homeaway – Our update on the changes
Homeaway have announced changes that will have an affect on the holiday rental businesses. These changes are particularly centred around booking online. With Homeaway focusing on changing from an advertising platform to allowing customers to book through their website. The main focus of the changes has been around providing the best user experience they can for their customers.
What this means for those in the Holiday Rental Business
The recent changes mean that Homeaway subscribers will need to accept online bookings when they renew their subscription. The company suggests that the new system will be beneficial for subscribers, increasing bookings and revenue and creating trust.
Property owners will no longer be able to exchange personal contact information with potential guests before a booking. This does mean screening guests over the phone is no longer an option, however there is a messaging platform to communicate with guests. The messaging platform provides both owner and guest(s) with a better sense of trust. With all of the conversations being on record in case any issues arise with the booking. Obtaining independent payments out of the Owners will not be able to request payment from guests independently, and all reservations and payments must be done through an online system.
The company have made these changes to create a more familiar setup for potential guests. With an easy booking process similar to other online holiday websites. Owners will still have control over what they charge, house rules, and contacting guests, but the changes provide a more secure option for both parties.
What do owners have to do?
The changes require owners with existing subscriptions to allow online bookings when they renew their subscriptions. Their are two options when enrolling in online booking, ‘instant bookings’ or ’24 hour review’. Anyone with an existing subscriptions can either wait until the renewal date of their subscription or make the changes sooner; with their account manager. Information about the changes and online booking options will be sent by email near your renewal date.
Why are the changes happening?
Since the introduction of the Traveler Service Fee in 2016, potential guests and owners have been looking for a way around this. This came in the form of guests booking outside of the website and directly through the owners. Many owners have not taken advantage of the new online booking system and some are not intending to do so until they have to. Although Homeaway are selling this as a positive change for both owners and guests, many owners are unhappy that they will be unable to offer booking options outside of the website in order to reduce fees.
How does this affect iPro’s integration with Homeway?
The iPro online booking system has a direct API integration with the Homeaway platform. With the changes that are coming in the connection we have give you and your owners control of the bookings.
Our connection offers you:
– Control your pricing through iPro with your rates syncing to your listing in Homeaway
– Double bookings won’t happen with the calendar synchronisation
– Booking requests from Homeaway can be managed in iPro
– Payments taken in Homeaway will show in our booking system.
– Control the online payment provider you accept transactions through.
– When you receive a booking from Homeaway the guest information is pushed in to iPro
– You are then able to directly communicate with the guests from iPro email system.
With our Homeaway connection you can take full advantage of there sister websites by listing your properties in many locations.
We would love to hear about your thoughts on these changes send us a message or call us on +44 (0)1380 819474.